And then there were 4. The NHL playoffs have been as exciting as always, but now we are down to the final 4 teams as we get set to start the Conference Finals. The Western Conference begins on Tuesday night, with the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche set to square off. That will be followed by Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday night, with the New York Rangers hosting the 2-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. That is the game that we are going to focus on for this piece, but we will also have the Western Final covered, so watch out for that. Though they are on the road for Game 1, it is the Tampa Bay Lightning who are in as the favorite. The goal total for this game is set at 5 ½. With that in mind, let’s see both teams and how they stack up against each other so you can make your bets against the NHL Playoffs Odds.
Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals Betting: Tampa Bay vs New York Preview
Tampa Bay Lightning at NY Game 1 Info
- When: Wednesday, June 1 at 8 PM EST
- Where: Madison Square Garden, NYC
- TV: ESPN
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Lightning
There were a lot of people who thought that the Lightning’s amazing playoff performances, which have saw them win back-to-back Stanley Cups, was going to come to an end in Round 1. That certainly looked to be the case, as they found themselves in a 2-3 hole. They forced a Game 7 versus the Toronto Maple Leafs and went on the road to steal the win and the series. While we all expected their series against the Florida Panthers to be another tough one, the Lightning blew past their state rivals in 4 games. They have had time to rest now, but will that mean that they come out rusty in Game 1. This is a team seemingly built for the playoffs, so I would not worry about that. The issue here is that they lost all 3 games to the Rangers in the regular season.
Why bet on the New York Rangers
It has not been an easy path to this point for the Rangers, as they have had to come from behind in both series in these playoffs. They were in a 1-3 hole versus the Penguins in Round 1 before winning 3 in a row to win the series. They were also 3-2 down versus the Carolina Hurricanes and ended up going on the road for Game 7 to face a Hurricanes team that was perfect on home ice through the playoffs. The Rangers surprised everyone by delivering an offensive outburst to win Game 7 by a score of 6-2. While the Rangers have played a lot of hockey, the good news is that they are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games played on a day’s rest. In games following one where they scored 5 or more goals, the OVER has hit in 4 straight games.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
As we mentioned earlier, the New York Rangers won all 3 games against the Lightning in the regular season. The playoffs are different, obviously, but I still think that the easy pick here is to take the Rangers at +1 ½ in Game 1. I think we might also see the OVER in this one.
NHL Playoffs Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning 3 New York Rangers 4